NYC air quality: Check your flight status at LaGuardia, JFK and Newark airports

Smoke and haze from wildfires in Canada continue to blitz countless airports in the Northeast, severely limiting visibility.

Delays at Newark Liberty International Airport were averaging 30 minutes to an hour late Thursday afternoon, with two hours at LaGuardia Airport in Queens for incoming flights.

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A view of the hazy city during bad air quality as smoke of Canadian wildfires brought in by wind. (Photo by Selcuk Acar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

By early afternoon, the FAA ordered ground stops at LaGuardia and Newark, with NYC-bound flights being held on the ground at their airport of origin.

LaGuardia Airport Status

  • According to the FAA, LaGuardia is in a ground delay due to low visibility.
  • Departures are delayed an average of 54 minutes.

Newark Airport Status

  • According to the FAA, departures at Newark are delayed an average of 34 minutes due to low visibility.

JFK Airport Status

  • There are no ground stops or delays at the moment, according to the FAA.

"This is the worst I've ever seen in my lifetime as far as smoke," Kyle Bailey, an aviation analyst and pilot, told FOX 5 NY. "It's a very, very rare occurrence. Normally, every couple of years we'll see this, but never to this extent."

How does wildfire smoke affect your health?

Wildfire smoke is a complex mixture of gases, particles, and water vapor that contains multiple pollutants that can get into the lungs and bloodstream. 

There is no evidence of a safe level of exposure to some of the pollutants, meaning that smoke can impact your health even at very low levels. 

Inhaling smoke from wildfires can cause headaches, sore and watery eyes, nose, throat, and sinus irritation, chest pains, heart palpitations and more. 

Who should be careful?

Exposure to elevated fine particle pollution levels can affect the lungs and heart.

The air quality alerts caution "sensitive groups," a big category that includes children, older adults, and people with lung diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Kids, who often are encouraged to go out and play, "are more susceptible to smoke for a number of reasons," said Laura Kate Bender, the lung association's National Assistant Vice President, healthy air. "Their lungs are still developing, they breathe in more air per unit of body weight."

No one is immune. 

What can you do for now?

It's a good time to put off that yard work and outdoor exercise. If you go out, consider wearing an N95 mask to reduce your exposure to pollutants.

Stay inside, keeping your doors, windows and fireplaces shut. It's recommended that you run the air conditioning on a recirculation setting.

When will conditions improve?

Conditions may not markedly improve for a couple of days.